2016 vintage in Mudgee one of the best »

With harvest early, but excellent, and exciting things happening

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Jacob Stein, Robert Stein Vineyard, Mudgee

Jacob Stein, Robert Stein Vineyard, Mudgee

Robert Stein Vineyard, Mudgee, New South Wales
Robert Stein Vineyard, Mudgee, New South Wales
The Mudgee Homestead Guesthouse
Mudgee, New South Wales


New South Wales’ Mudgee wine region has had one of the best vintages in recent memory, with harvest beginning around a week earlier than average.

“All white varieties were picked at optimum ripeness, with good acid balance and excellent flavour profile. Aromatic whites such as riesling have been the standouts,” explained Robert Stein Winemaker, Jacob Stein.

“Red varieties were harvested a week earlier than usual, with many of the usually later ripening vineyards experiencing much earlier ripening making the winery logistics challenging.

“However the quality of all red varieties is excellent, with some parcels of shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and alternative varieties being the stars.”

The January rainfall of 175mm was a blessing, topping up dry soils and keeping vine canopies healthy and active. However during the harvest period of February to April only 16mm was recorded, registering one of the driest harvests on record. 

This was good – the dry spell decreased disease pressure during harvest and allowed vignerons to minimise their intervention with the vineyard during ripening.

“A number of isolated vineyards around the region received some hail and wind damage, however this was the exception. The general outlook is very positive with the wines looking fantastic.”

The Mudgee region is one of New South Wales oldest wine growing regions dating back to 1858. Sitting at an elevation of 450 to 1100 metres the climate is markedly different from its Hunter Valley and Orange neighbours.

Mudgee is characterised by cool nights and long sunshine hours with warm summers and autumns. Harvest is around four weeks behind the Hunter Valley, but earlier than Orange.

2016 marks the 40th anniversary of Robert Stein wines, with third generation Jacob Stein controlling the winemaking for the past seven years.

“Mudgee is experiencing exciting times,” said Jacob. “The region is vibrant with a lively group of young winemakers experimenting and innovating.  There’s a range of new restaurants devising new dishes and utilising local produce, and there is a constant flow of visitors rediscovering the region.

“The first Mudgee Food & Drink Trail kicked off in April. This new initiative is a self drive journey allowing visitors to explore Mudgee through its unique venues, food and drinks.”




  • Mudgee (NSW)

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May 18th, 2016
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